Mayweather v. Bryson
ORDER OF TRANSFER. IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that this action be TRANSFERRED to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Newnan Division. The Clerk of Court is DIRECTED to transfer this case to that Court. Signed by Magistrate Judge R. Stan Baker on 9/16/2016. (csr) [Transferred from Georgia Southern on 9/16/2016.]
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
CIVIL ACTION NO.: 5:15-cv-49
Petitioner Stacey Mayweather (“Mayweather”), who is currently housed at Dooly State
Prison in Unadilla, Georgia, filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, ostensibly pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2241, while he was housed at the Coffee Correctional Facility in Nicholls, Georgia.
(Doc. 1.) Mayweather also moved to proceed in forma pauperis in this Court, and this Court
granted that motion. (Docs. 2, 3.) In his Petition, Mayweather attacks his conviction obtained in
the Superior Court of Spalding County, Georgia. (Doc. 1, p. 2.) Respondent filed a Response.
(Doc. 10.) Upon review of Mayweather’s Petition, it is clear that he has brought a Petition for
Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2554 1, despite having labeled his action as being
brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 and the Clerk of Court having docketed his action as such.
“Federal courts sometimes will ignore the legal label that a pro se litigant attaches to a motion and
recharacterize the motion in order to place it within a different legal category.” Retic v. United States,
215 F. App’x 962, 964 (11th Cir. 2007) (quoting Castro v. United States, 540 U.S. 375, 381 (2003)). This
Court may “recharacterize a pro se litigant’s motion to create a better correspondence between the
substance of the motion and its underlying legal basis.” Rameses v. United States Dist. Court, 523 F.
App’x 691, 694 (11th Cir. 2013). Federal courts “may do so in order to avoid an unnecessary dismissal,
to avoid inappropriately stringent application of formal labeling requirements, or to create a better
correspondence between the substance of a pro se motion’s claim and its underlying legal basis.” Id.
(quoting Castro, 540 U.S. at 381–82). This ability to re-characterize is limited, particularly when a court
While this Court had jurisdiction over this Petition while Mayweather was incarcerated
within this District, it is prudent to address the venue of this action. All applications for writs of
habeas corpus filed by persons in state custody, including those filed under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, are
governed by 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Medberry v. Crosby, 351 F.2d 1049, 1062 (11th Cir. 2003). For
a person who is “in custody under the judgment and sentence of a [s]tate court”, Section 2241(d)
specifies the “respective jurisdictions” where a Section 2254 petition may be heard. Under
Section 2241(d), a person in custody under the judgment of a state court may file his Section
2254 petition in the federal district (1) “within which the [s]tate court was held which convicted
and sentenced him”; or (2) “wherein [he] is in custody.” 28 U.S.C. § 2241(d); see also Eagle v.
Linahan, 279 F.3d 926, 933 n.9 (11th Cir. 2001). Therefore, the Court may, “in the exercise of
its discretion and in furtherance of justice”, transfer an application for writ of habeas corpus to
“the district court for the district within which the State court was held which convicted”
Petitioner. 28 U.S.C. § 2241(d).
In enacting Section 2241(d), “Congress explicitly recognized the substantial advantages
of having these cases resolved in the court which originally imposed the confinement or in the
court located nearest the site of the underlying controversy.” Braden v. 30th Judicial Circuit
Court of Kentucky, 410 U.S. 484, 497 (1973); see also 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) (“For the
convenience of parties and witnesses, in the interest of justice, a district court may transfer any
recharacterizes a pleading filed by a pro se litigant as a first Section 2254 petition. Prior to such recharacterization, the court:
must notify the pro se litigant that it intends to recharacterize the pleading, warn the
litigant that this recharacterization means that any subsequent § 225 motion will be
subject to the restrictions on ‘second or successive’ motions, and provide the litigant an
opportunity to withdraw the motion or amend it so that it contains all the § 225 claims
he believed he has.
Castro, 540 U.S. at 383.
civil action to any other district or division where it might have been brought.”). To that end, the
federal courts of this State maintain a “longstanding practice” of transferring habeas petitions “to
the district of conviction.” Isaac v. Brown, No. CV 4:10-071, 2010 WL 2636045, at *1 (S.D.
Ga. May 24, 2010), report and recommendation adopted, No. CV 4:10-071, 2010 WL 2636059
(S.D. Ga. June 29, 2010) (citing Eagle, 279 F.3d at 933 n.9); see also Order, Hewitt v. Allen, No.
3:14-cv-27 (M.D. Ga. Mar. 26, 2014), ECF No. 4 (“Adherence to this policy results in each
district court considering habeas actions arising within the district and in an equitable
distribution of habeas cases among the districts of this state.”).
The place of Mayweather’s conviction, Spalding County, is located in the Newnan
Division of the Northern District of Georgia. 28 U.S.C. § 90(a)(4). Consequently, IT IS
HEREBY ORDERED that this action shall be TRANSFERRED to the United States District
Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Newnan Division.
The Clerk of Court is
DIRECTED to transfer this case to that Court.
SO ORDERED, this 16th day of September, 2016.
R. STAN BAKER
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?